Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is the home of the West Coast Trail. The hiking terrain on this trail moves over sandy beaches, rocky headlands, wide sandstone ledges, and boardwalk passing through salal covered wetlands. Caves, arches, tidal pools, waterfalls, and lighthouses are some of the sights along the trail that will be seen along the hike. The trail was originally a pathway for a telegraph wire connecting Bamfield and Port Renfrew. It was turned into a more passable trail for the rescue of shipwrecked mariners that escaped disaster along the rocky shores of Vancouver Island. As many as 66 ships have been lost along this ssection of the “Graveyard of the Pacific”.
The temperate coastal rain forest along the West Coast Trail is dominated by old growth spruce, hemlock and cedar, which also covers most of British Columbia’s southern coast. Some of the tallest and largest trees in Canada make their homes in and around the West Coast Trail, including a controversial section in the Carmanah Valley, which has a creek that crosses the trail and comes our near the Carmanah Light Station on the trail. Annexing the trail into Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has increased the safety of the trail by having consistent maintenance, organized facilities, and a reservation system in place. This has also increased the popularity of the trail, which sees somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 visitors a year. Increased safety does not mean that hiking the trail is risk free. Anyone considering this destination need to prepare for the physical demands, organize the transport, the food, and ensure that their equipment is up to par. Having a guide or tour company removes much of the organization and may open the adventure up to
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